Lethal Licorice

Lethal Licorice

by Amanda Flower
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Overview

Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower

Too many sweets spoil the murder . . .
 
Harvest, Ohio, is a long way from New York City, where Bailey King left a coveted job as a head chocolatier to take over Swissmen Sweets, her Amish grandparents’ candy shop. Now, while caring for her recently widowed grandmother, she plans to honor her grandfather’s memory by entering the annual Amish Confectionery Competition. But between lavender blueberry fudge and chocolate cherry ganache truffles, Bailey may have bitten off more than she can chew when the search for a missing pot-bellied pig turns up a body suffering from sugar overload—the fatal kind . . .
 
A candy maker from a neighboring town who wanted Englischer Bailey disqualified for being an outsider, Josephine Weaver died from an allergy to an essential licorice ingredient. The suspects include: Josephine’s niece, a young woman going through her rumspringa, or running around time, and Bailey herself. Now it falls to Bailey, who’s sweet on the local sheriff’s deputy, to clear their names and entice a killer with a cast-iron stomach for cold-blooded murder . . .
 
Recipe Included!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781496706416
Publisher: Kensington
Publication date: 02/27/2018
Series: Amish Candy Shop Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 352
Sales rank: 25,771
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Amanda Flower is a three-time Agatha Award-nominated author. She also writes the USA Today bestselling Amish Quilt Shop Mysteries, including Murder, Served Simply and Murder, Simply Stitched, under the name Isabella Alan. Visit her at amandaflower.com.

Rebecca Mitchell is a performance artist and classically trained vocalist, as well as a professional host, emcee, and personality. Her natural flare for the dramatic, coupled with her love of being in the studio, brought her to the world of narrating in 2013.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

When the pig went missing, I knew there would be trouble.

"Bailey, honey?" Juliet Brody asked me in her sweet southern drawl. "Have you seen Jethro?"

I looked up from the snack-sized bags of homemade black licorice I was stacking in one corner of Swissmen Sweets' competition table. The licorice was my entry in the first round of the Amish Confectionery Competition, which was like the NBA playoffs, but with way more sugar. No modern cooking implements or methods that included electricity were allowed in the competition since some Amish districts didn't allow their use even for business.

Everything had to be done the Amish way, which meant slow and deliberate. I'd thought I was up for the challenge of making candy using the Amish methods, but I was learning that it was much more difficult than I'd realized. It couldn't be more different from how I'd learned to make chocolates and candies as Jean Pierre Ruge's protégé for six years at JP Chocolates, a high-end chocolate shop in Midtown Manhattan.

"Jethro?" I glanced up and down the row of competition tables. There were fifteen tables in all, with Amish candy makers from as far away was Wisconsin and Florida there to compete. Just like mine, every table was cafeteria length, and behind each was a cooking station with an oven and stove that ran on propane. A white awning covered each space.

At the table next to mine, an Amish woman removed the candy thermometer from the boiling pot on her stove top and poured the sugary liquid into waiting candy molds.

If Jethro had been there, I was sure I would have seen him. He tended to stand out. There was no sign of the black and white polka-dotted potbellied pig.

"No, I haven't seen him all morning." I tucked a lock of dark brown hair behind my ear. "Is he running loose at the competition? I doubt the judges would like that. I wouldn't let Margot know he's unattended on the square if I were you."

Margot Rawlings was the village chairwoman as well as the English judge for the contest, and she was determined to make sure everything went perfectly for the Amish Confectionery Competition, also known as the ACC. Every year, the competition was held in a different Amish town. The towns had to audition to snag the competition, and every Amish Country community wanted it because the event was a big tourist draw. It was quite an accomplishment for a village as tiny as Harvest to host the ACC, especially in Ohio's Amish Country, where there were so many better-known Amish communities like Charm, Berlin, and Sugarcreek. Margot had campaigned hard and won the hosting spot for Harvest almost single-handedly, from what I'd heard. She wouldn't let anything mess up Harvest's time in the spotlight as the ACC's host town. That included Jethro the pig.

Juliet wrung her small, pale hands together. "I just don't know where he could have run off to. It's so unlike him. He rarely leaves my side."

That was debatable. "How long has he been gone?" I dropped another bag of licorice on the pile on the table.

She swallowed. "I don't know exactly. I was helping some of the competitors set up their spots, and that took several hours. You would not believe the amount of stuff that some of these people have brought for the competition."

I glanced back at my stack of crates, filled to the brim with candy-making supplies, pots, pans, and utensils. "I can guess how much."

Juliet pursed her lips. "There was so much to do that I didn't notice Jethro was gone until we were done." She clasped her hands together more tightly. "I thought he was there the entire time while I was working. The last time I saw him, he was standing in the shade under one of the bushes in front of the church. When I was ready to leave and went to collect him, he was gone."

I glanced at the large white church on the other side of Church Street at the opposite end of the square. It was midday, and the October sun shone down on it like an orange pumpkin ripening on one of the many pumpkin patches scattered around the county.

"I'm sure he's here somewhere. Maybe the crowd spooked him. None of us are used to having this many people in town," I said.

Because of the ACC, the village had had a rapid influx of people. There were fifteen Amish candy makers in the competition, and as a rule, the Amish didn't travel alone. Many of the competitors had brought their entire families to Harvest to watch them compete. In the Amish world, that could be as many as twenty additional people per competitor. Those numbers didn't even include all the spectators, both Amish and English, who'd come to Harvest to watch the two-day event. I guessed there were a couple thousand tourists.

"What if someone took him?" Juliet's voice caught, and her Carolina accent became more pronounced. "How will I ever know who did it in this crush of people?"

I stepped around the side of my table and gave her hug. "No one took Jethro. I'm sure he's just hiding somewhere to get away from all the commotion. Why don't we —"

"There she is!" A shrill voice shouted over the din created by all the visitors and candy makers packed onto the square. "I demand that you do something about this!"

I let go of Juliet to see a petite Amish woman in a plain navy dress, black apron, and white prayer cap stomping toward me. Her hair was parted in the middle and coiled into a bun at the nape of her neck in the Amish style. The woman was rail thin and couldn't have been more than five feet tall. Despite her small stature, the crowd parted to let her pass like storybook villagers would for a dragon on a raid. I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if she breathed fire just like a dragon. She would be the world's tiniest dragon, but that didn't lessen my chances of being burned, and I knew that was just what Josephine Weaver wanted to do. She wanted to burn me out of the competition.

Jeremiah Beiler, the Amish judge and organizer of the ACC, lumbered behind Josephine. He was a large round man who was three times the size of Josephine but not nearly as fierce, even though he sported a luxurious Amish beard. If I had to choose between Josephine and Jeremiah to contend with, the big teddy bear of a man would always win.

Margot Rawlings was a few steps behind Jeremiah. Her short curls bounced on the top of her head as she made her way across the village green in Josephine's wake. She looked just as irritated as the Amish woman, but I wasn't sure if it was with me, Josephine, or both of us. Knowing Margot, it was both, and probably every other person on planet earth. She wasn't picky when it came to be being annoyed with people.

When Josephine was within three feet of where I stood with Juliet, she pulled up short and pointed at me. "She should be disqualified. She's not Amish!"

I looked down at my outfit. Purple suede ankle boots, designer jeans from my life back in NYC, and a pink and purple flannel shirt under a white apron. To complete the outfit, I wore multicolored feather earrings that hung down an inch from the bottom of my earlobes. There was no one in the world who would believe I was Amish.

Jeremiah folded his arms across his ample stomach. "Now, Josephine, we have been over this already. Bailey can compete in the ACC in her late grandfather, Jebidiah King's, place. Jebidiah's candy shop was accepted into the contest months ago."

Josephine's lips curved into a sneer. "If a contestant dies, I see no reason to allow his relatives to compete, especially if those relatives have turned their backs on the Amish way and become Englisch."

I balled my hands at my sides. My grandfather had died a few short weeks ago, and the loss was still too raw for me to take such a comment lightly. "I haven't fallen away from the Amish. I've never been Amish." My words were sharper than I would have liked them to be, but I made no apology.

The tiny woman sniffed. "All the more reason to expel you from the competition. You cannot possibly understand our ways."

"Please, please," Margot said, looking around. "Keep your voices down. There is no reason to cause such an uproar. You will disturb the tourists."

"They should be disturbed. They came a long way to see the ACC, and there is an imposter in the competition," Josephine snapped.

"Josephine," Jeremiah said as he inched away from her. I wondered if he was moving out of smacking range. The Amish weren't prone to violence, but I wouldn't put it past Josephine to raise her fists. Jeremiah, now a good two feet away from the angry Amish woman, said, "The board has made its decision, and it's too late to change it now."

"How are we Amish to fairly compete if we have to deal with a cheating Englischer?" Josephine wanted to know.

"I'm not cheating. I'm making the candies using the same equipment as the rest of you." Now, I was really becoming annoyed.

"Clara King should be the one taking her husband's place in this competition, not you." Josephine placed her hands on her narrow hips. "At least she is Amish!"

"Don't bring my grandmother into this," I snapped.

Maami was back at Swissmen Sweets, minding the shop. Business would be brisk with all the tourists in Harvest for the ACC, but it certainly would be much quieter than it was on the square. Quiet was what my grandmother craved. Right after my grandfather had died, she had been a pillar of strength, going about her life in the same orderly way she always had, but as the weeks after his death had gone by, she had became quieter, withdrawn, as if she finally realized that her husband was gone, never to return.

Clara and Jebidiah King had truly been lifelong companions. Although they didn't grow up in the same Amish district, she and my daadi had known each other since birth because their family farms had been on the same rural road. My grandfather said it was love at first sight. As a young child, I would argue that point with him. I told him that babies can't fall in love. He would say, "Sure they can. You fell in love with me when you were a baby." I would protest and tell him that was different because he was my daadi. Boy-girl love was different. He would shake his head and say, "The soul knows when it's found its match, no matter the age." I didn't buy that at eight. I wasn't sure if I bought it at twenty-seven either, especially considering my own romantic record; maybe my soul was just as confused as the rest of me.

Juliet, who had been silent up to this point, said, "Could it be, Josephine, that you want Swissmen Sweets to be removed from the competition because they just might beat you?" Her voice was as sweet as molasses.

I winced. Even I knew that was not the best counter-argument to use with Josephine Weaver.

Josephine dropped her hands from her tiny hips. "How can you say such a thing, Juliet Brody? I just want to have a fair and safe competition of Amish candy makers. My shop, Berlin Candies, has a rightful place in the competition because I am Amish, and everyone who works for me is Amish. We do everything the Amish way. Unlike Swissmen Sweets. There have been rumors about the worldly recipes that have been showing up at Swissmen Sweets."

Worldly recipes, really? I wanted to ask her what she meant by that exactly, but I thought better of it and held my tongue. It was true that since I took over Swissmen Sweets, I had added a few new flavors to some of the traditionally Amish candies and sweets that we sold. I'd added lavender blueberry fudge, chocolate cherry ganache truffles, and more. Even if I was going to live in Amish Country, I couldn't leave my life's work as a chocolatier behind. I had worked too hard for too long mastering my craft to let it wither and die.

Margot put a hand on Josephine's arm. "Let's go to the concessions and get you some tea, Josephine. I think it will calm you down nicely."

Across the square, there was an Amish-run concessions booth selling tea, coffee, and hot apple cider to tourists. With the chill in the October air, the line ran all the way to the gazebo in the middle of the square. Amish teenagers filled plain white paper cups with hot drinks as quickly as they could pour them.

Josephine wrenched her arm away from Margot. "I do not need to be calmed down."

"What we sell at Swissmen Sweets doesn't have anything to do with what I'm entering in the ACC," I said.

"Doesn't it?" Josephine's eyes narrowed. "Shouldn't this competition be for Amish confectioneries? If yours is no longer an Amish candy shop, that's more reason than ever to disqualify you, and I'm going to make it my mission to do just that."

"Is that a threat?" I asked.

She lifted her pointy chin. "The Amish don't make threats. We make promises."

Sounded like the same thing to me, I thought, as Josephine stomped away with Jeremiah and Margot in her wake.

CHAPTER 2

When Josephine Weaver said she would have me removed from the competition, I assumed she wasn't bluffing. Most of the Amish I knew were true to their word. I watched as she stomped around the large white gazebo in the middle of the square and disappeared from sight.

At the edge of the square, a teenage Amish girl with curly strawberry- blond hair that was barely contained under her white prayer cap, caught my eye. She stared at the spot from which Josephine had disappeared and wrapped her shawl more closely around her body as if she felt some sort of chill. Maybe a hot drink like Margot had suggested would do her good too. She then ducked her head and ran across the village square in the direction of First Church, the large white church that was on the opposite side of the square from Swissmen Sweets.

"What are we going to do about Jethro?" Juliet wrung her hands and pulled my attention away from the girl. "I hate to be a bother. I know you have so much to do for the competition."

"I'm in a good spot. The licorice for the first round is done, and the judging doesn't happen for another hour. Emily will be over in a few minutes to help me with the next round, which is taffy. It's always good to have a second person on hand when making taffy."

Emily Esh was the sister of Esther Esh, who owned Esh Family Pretzels, which was right next to Swissmen Sweets. Both shops sat on the other side of Main Street directly across from the square gazebo. They had the most sought-after locations in Harvest.

Since I had officially taken over Swissmen Sweets, I had hired Emily from time to time to help out in the shop. This weekend, I had asked her if she could be my assistant at the ACC, and she readily agreed. Emily was always looking for an excuse to escape the pretzel shop and her older sister's judgment.

Esther and their older brother, Abel, allowed Emily to help me to an extent. I knew the extra money helped the family of three young, unmarried siblings. However, I suspected Esther and maybe even Abel would like to limit Emily's time with me. Maybe they thought I would corrupt her with my big-city English ways.

"I just don't know what I'll do if something happens to Jethro." Juliet sounded as if she was on the verge of tears.

"I'll help you look for him," I said quickly before she could break down. "I'll start looking around the church. Meanwhile, why don't you take a lap around the square and ask people if they have seen him. He's pretty distinctive-looking; people would remember if they saw a polka-dotted pig. We'll meet in front of the church in fifteen minutes."

She clasped my hands in both of hers. "Oh, thank you, Bailey. Thank you so much. I'm so glad that you moved here, not just for my son, but for the entire community. You're such a blessing."

I internally groaned when Juliet mentioned her son. I had not moved to Harvest, Ohio, for her son. Somehow Juliet had gotten it into her mind that he and I were destined for each other. I won't lie and say that I didn't find her son, Aiden Brody, appealing. He was the very handsome sheriff's deputy and had close ties to my family. After Juliet and Aiden moved to Harvest when Aiden was just a child, my grandparents gave them a place to live until they were on their own two feet. The Brodys had remained friends with my grandparents ever since. Despite the family history and the fact that I found Aiden almost painfully attractive, we were just friends, regardless of the plans his mother and my grandmother might have for our future.

Before I left the booth, I tidied it the best I could so it would be ready for the licorice judging.

By the time I finished, Juliet was already speaking to the third candy maker in the row, asking him if he had seen Jethro.

"You're looking for a polka-dotted pig?" the man asked in a thick Pennsylvania Dutch accent.

(Continues…)



Excerpted from "Lethal Licorice"
by .
Copyright © 2018 Amanda Flower.
Excerpted by permission of KENSINGTON PUBLISHING CORP..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Lethal Licorice 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 22 reviews.
Anonymous 10 months ago
I looked forward to it as book two of a terrific series but this book was clearly written as a stand-alone because it spent way too much time explaining people and events from book one. This became annoying by the end of the book. I hope it doesn't continue like this in book three.
Anonymous 10 months ago
Amanda Flower has given us another cozy winner in Lethal Licorice. Bailey King stumbles into her second mystery in as many months when her friend Julia's pet pig goes missing during s high-stakes Amish candy making competition. Both clever and funny this cozy mystery will leave you surprised at the unexpected conclusion.
ethel55 3 months ago
Not much time has passed since Bailey moved to Harvest, Ohio to help her grandmother run their family candy store. Turns out, she can represent Swissmen Sweets in the annual Amish Confectionery Competition that her grandfather has signed the shop up for before he passed away. There is a missing pic and pretty stiff competition for what seems to be such a mild mannered people. When a Amish store owner is found dead, Bailey, along with her new friends and family, look into what could have happened to the unlikable Josephine Weaver. I was a bit worried the pig would be forgotten, but the story's twists and turns kept me reading and guessing to the end.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Not preachy. Yet makes you think. Seing a side of Amish that isn't usually talked or written about, at least in any books that I've read. The characters are believable. The settings & descriptions were well described and picturable. A good mix of modern world and Amish world. A good read! I can hardly wait for the next book.
GratefulGrandma 7 months ago
In this outing of the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries, we find Bailey adjusting to life in Harvest, Ohio. She is staying with her grandmother and running the Amish Candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Her grandfather had been accepted as a competitor in the Amish Confectionary Contest, so with his untimely death, Bailey finds herself taking his place even though she is not Amish. She must make all her candy in the Amish tradition in the contest, but this is not enough for some of the other competitors. The first day of the competition finds her dealing with a host of ill feelings and with finding a dead body in the church. Of course she is a suspect as the victim is one of the people she recently had words with. While competing, she is trying to gather clues as to the murderer and who would have a motive, helping some of the other competitors, worrying about her cousin who is having difficulty with the Deacon in her Amish Section and fighting off her fledgling feelings for Aiden, the local police officer. It seems like a lot for one book, but Amanda Flower does an amazing job with the plot, developing the story nicely. I really like Bailey. She is not Amish, but has great respect for the Amish people and their traditions. She is kind and caring to everyone. She is a smart cookie, but unfortunately still gets herself into some sticky situations while investigating. Aiden is a real sweetheart. He is also very respectful of the Amish people and their ways, unlike the police chief. He is playing it cool and moving slowly with Bailey, but you can definitely see his feelings for her developing. Bailey's grandmother is a wonderful influence on her, but is very accepting of her personality and decisions. The other recurring characters continue to add much to the story and their character development is well done. The friendly polka dot, pot bellied pig, Jethro, disappears at the beginning of the story, but makes a huge impact when he is finally located near the end. I had no idea about the ending of this book. Lots of twists and surprises that kept me reading late into the night. A fun cozy that I really enjoyed. I am looking forward to the next installment in this series. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
Melissa1978 7 months ago
The Amish Confectionery Competition is taking place in Harvest and Bailey King is representing her grandparents' candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Some of the competitors are upset since Bailey is not Amish. While helping her friend, Juliet, look for her missing pet pig, she, Juliet, and an Amish girl named Charlotte find the body of a competitor in the church organ. Bailey is a suspect because a bag of her licorice is found on the dead woman. Bailey investigates to clear her name. During all this, she tries to help Charlotte decide what to do with her life. This was a great book. If you enjoy reading about the Amish and candy shops, this is a great series! I love this series and hope to see it continue with a relationship developing between Aiden and Bailey.
CheliD 9 months ago
Bailey King has given up her dreams of being a top chocolatier in New York and returned to the Amish country in Harvest, OH to help her grandmother in their candy business and in particular in this book make the candies the Amish way for the Amish Confectionery Competition. One of the other Amish entrants is not happy that Bailey is their since technically she is not Amish, but Bailey is allowed to continued since she is representing her grandmother's shop. The other entrant is found dead, however, from an allergic reaction to licorice (the main ingredient for one of the candies being made in the competition). Since Bailey and the victim were seen arguing and she was one of the people who found the body, Bailey feels compelled to investigate to clear her name. This was a fun mystery with numerous twists and turns but also great characters and yummy sounding candy! Can't wait for another trip to the Amish country!
vics49548 10 months ago
First, let me say that this is the second book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. I haven’t read the first book, Assaulted Caramel, but I plan to. I was able to follow the story line in Lethal Licorice just fine, although I sure was curious about the things that were being alluded to. The characters in author Amanda Flower’s book were quirky and fun. Easy to love, except for a couple of them, you’ll feel as if you made new friends in a wonderful little town. And who can resist a cute little pig? Written in an easy manner, this story is relaxing to follow although you will be wondering who did what to who! Mystery and murder make an interesting twist for an Amish story and I definitely enjoyed this cozy mystery. I’m looking forward to book 3, Premediated Peppermint, coming out in September of 2018.
SewWrite 11 months ago
Bailey King has decided to live in Harvest, Ohio with her recently widowed Amish Grandmother. To honor her late Grandfather, Bailey takes his place in the Amish Confectionery Competition. Not all of the other contestants or even the judges are happy to have a Englisher as a contestant. Josephine Weaver is at the top of the list of contestants that feel Bailey should not be allowed to stay in the competition. Not long after publicly speaking her mind, Josephine is found dead and there are a lot of people who are not sorry to see her gone. Bailey must not only clear her own name, she must clear the name of a cousin she didn't even know she had. I am really enjoying getting to know all of the characters in this series. Each new book not only shows a glimpse into the Amish life, it also is full of candy making information and tips. I can't wait to see what happens in the next book in this series, which I have already pre-ordered.
Dollycas 11 months ago
Dollycas’s Thoughts The Amish Confectionery Competition has come to Harvest, Ohio and Bailey King has been allowed to participate even though she is not Amish. There are some contestants not happy that she is competing against them. Especially Josephine Weaver and she loudly voices her opinion. But before the judges even taste Bailey’s licorice, she finds Josephine’s body. She was just trying to find Juliet Brody’s pot-bellied pig, the last thing she needed to see was another dead body. When the police hear about her argument with Josephine she knows she is going to be their prime suspect. Deputy Aiden Brody is sweet on Bailey, but she knows she is going to need to find the real culprit on her own. Lethal Licorice picks up almost where Assaulted Carmamel leaves off. Bailey’s grandmother is still adjusting to life without her beloved, Jebediah. Bailey is honored to take his place in the Amish Confectionery Competition hoping to bring some sunshine back into her Maami’s life. Bailey also learns she has a new cousin Charlotte. Charlotte is going through the Amish tradition of rumspringa before making her decision to join the church. Her family, which includes the newly deceased, is not happy about her musical decision. This also lands her on the list of suspects. I so enjoy the characters in the series. Bailey finding her way among the Amish is so interesting. She is strong and smart and committed to helping her grandmother in any way she can. A romance in her life is just on the cusp. Everyone seems to think she and Deputy Aiden Brody would make the perfect couple. The characters all have a certain charm that made me what to know them all better. A young Amish woman, Emily Esh, really resonated with me. We have just barely touched on her life story and I hope we get to know her better in a future story. Now this mystery was a fun one to solve. I am not a fan of licorice at all, but to have it be part of a murder was just fantastic. I had never heard of a licorice allergy but I suppose people can be allergic to just about anything. The victim owned a candy store in a nearby town and Bailey quickly learns of several new motives for her death and people not so sorry the woman is dead. There was also another woman entered into the competition who was pretty shifty so she is on Bailey’s list as well. But when the real guilty party is revealed I was completely shocked and surprised. I sure didn’t see it coming. This story is a fantastic addition to this series. I love the peek that this author gives us into Amish life and the Englischers. Both books in this series are must reads. Book 3, Premeditated Peppermint will be released September 25.
Anonymous 12 months ago
I couldn't figure out who did it so that's a good book
Reeceeangel 12 months ago
Bailey has stayed in Harvest, OH after the death of her Daadi (grandfather) to her Maami (grandmother) run the family candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Her grandfather was to participate in the highly competitive Amish Confectionery Competition and the judges have allowed Bailey to take his place. On the first day of the competition Bailey has a run in with a rival Amish candy shop owner, Josephine Weaver. Also, the town's beloved polka-dotted pig, Jethro, has gone missing and his owner, Juliet, is distraught with worry. As Bailey looks for Jethro she unfortunately finds the body of Josephine. Will the police, particularly Aiden, be suspicious of her once again? Whenever I am stressed I like to turn to cozy mysteries and Amish fiction. When you put the two of them together I am one happy reader. Amanda Flower has perfected the craft of writing Amish cozy mysteries. You are instantly transported to Harvest, OH into Bailey's world as soon as you open the book. The details are rich with beauty and flavor. You can almost taste the candy Bailey and the others are making. It is a guarantee you will be craving whatever Bailey and her grandmother are making. Right now I want licorice and taffy. YUM! Not only is there a murder mystery going on there is also a young Amish girl that Bailey meets that is trying to decide her path in life, stay Amish or leave or faith. The care and compassion shown from Bailey and her grandmother is the true spirit of helping one another. You will be moved like I was. There is a small romance between Bailey and Aiden brewing but it does not take over the main story. They are both taking their time until they move to the next step. Aiden seems like the perfect match for Bailey. He lets her explore but is always around to help her pick up the pieces. I cannot review the book without a blurb about Jethro. Who can resist a polka-dotted pig? This pig lives the perfect life. He is doted on like a king by his mom, Juliet and she just so happens to be Aiden's mom and one of Bailey's close friends in Harvest, OH. I found myself worrying about Jethro being lost in the dark and cold even when I was not reading. I absolutely love how Amanda Flower gives true personality to her animal characters. To me that shows she has a beautiful heart. I am very excited to see the next adventure of Bailey and friends and to see where the romance is headed. Hurry and get your copy today from your favorite bookseller. If you have not read the first book, Assaulted Caramel, you should buy it also. Make it a sweet weekend of reading.
Anonymous 12 months ago
Edge of the seat story be sure to read all the books by this author
DanieleK 12 months ago
In LETHAL LICORICE, the second book in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series, author Amanda Flower definitely hits a sweet spot, combining Amish culture, family, drama, a missing pig, and murder to make an entertaining read that is hard to put down. LETHAL LICORICE picks up shortly after the events of ASSAULTED CARAMEL, but I think it can easily be read as a standalone. Bailey King left her rising career as a chocolatier to help her grandmother run her grandparents’ sweet shop. Their grief over her grandfather’s death is still fresh, and Bailey is a bit worried about her once happy, steadfast grandmother. She hopes that Maami will improve as time goes by. To honor her grandfather, she takes his place in the annual Amish Confectionary Competition. Not everyone is happy to have an English contestant, especially Josephine Weaver who has a shop in a neighboring town. When Josephine is found murdered, there are plenty of people that did not like Josephine, making the suspect pool rather large, but Bailey once again finds herself at the top of the suspect list. And to top it off, Jethro the pot bellied pig has gone missing. Can Bailey clear her name, help newly found family, and find Jethro? I am a fan of this series, and this second installment does not disappoint. My favorite thing about Flower’s books is the characters, and here they are authentic and relatable. Bailey is easy to like even though she is oh so very nosy (but aren’t all amateur sleuths nosy). She handles the stress of being caught in both the Amish and English worlds well, and I appreciate that she manages the differences, at least most of the time, with grace. Maami is solid as a rock, always offering sage advice. New character Charlotte is intentionally wishy-washy, but I think she will be a nice addition to future installments. Of course, Deputy Aiden makes an interesting foil and potential love interest for Bailey. The mystery of Josephine’s death is engaging with several red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I was surprised by the killer’s identity and the motive in the end, which, for me, always makes for good storytelling. The pace of the writing is quick, detailed without becoming bogged down. I really enjoyed LETHAL LICORICE and recommend it to any cozy mystery fan. I impatiently wait for book three. I received an ARC of this title from the author and voluntarily shared my opinions here.
CozyOnUp 12 months ago
The Amish town of Harvest, Ohio is the polar opposite of New York City, but it’s now home to big city chocolatier Bailey King. When Bailey’s Amish grandfather, Jebediah King, passed away, she moved to Ohio to help her grandmother, Clara, run the family candy shop, Swissmen Sweets. Taking her grandfather’s place in the annual Amish Confectionary Competition, Bailey isn’t welcomed by a few of her competitors given that she is an “Englisher”. When the Amish contestant who was most vocal about not allowing Bailey to compete turns up dead, Bailey finds herself on the suspect list. Now Bailey finds herself not only representing and defending her grandparent’s candy shop, but also trying to clear her name and solve a murder as well. I truly enjoyed this book. The simple life of the Amish combined with the English highlights just how similar we all are, regardless of our backgrounds. The story is well written, the characters are relatable and you’ll find yourself taking a trip to Amish country before you know it. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series when it comes out.
KrisAnderson_TAR 12 months ago
Lethal Licorice by Amanda Flower is the second story in The Amish Candy Shop Mystery series. Bailey King is now living in Harvest, Ohio and working at her grandparent’s candy shop Swissmen Sweets. They are preparing for the Amish Confectionery Competition (ACC) where Bailey will take her deceased grandfather’s spot. All items made for the competition can only be done the Amish way—no electrical appliances. Josephine Weaver of Berlin Candies, though, is not happy with Bailey taking Jebediah’s spot since she is an Englischer, and she is not the only person who feels that way. Just before the first round begins, Jethro, who is Juliet Brody’s polka dotted pig, disappears and she needs assistance in locating him. Bailey goes into the church to search where Charlotte Weaver, a cousin, is playing the organ which sounds a little off. Charlotte opens door to pipe area to see what could be the problem and screams. Bailey peers inside to see a dead Josephine Weaver. It is discovered that Josephine died from an allergic reaction to anise, and she had a piece of Swissmen Sweets licorice on her. This puts Bailey on the suspect list which along with her natural curiosity makes it impossible for her not to investigate Josephine’s death. Bailey must work in her sleuthing in between the rounds of the competition, looking for Jethro (he is still missing), manning the candy shop and offering Charlotte guidance on her future. Will Swissmen Sweets win the competition? Who killed Josephine Weaver? Follow Bailey on her latest adventure in Lethal Licorice. Lethal Licorice is written in a conversational writing style with a good pace which makes the story easy to read. I was drawn into Lethal Licorice immediately. Lethal Licorice can be enjoyed without having read Assaulted Caramel. Readers are given an abbreviated version of Bailey’s history and how she ended up in Harvest, Ohio. The setting of Harvest, Ohio is brought to life thanks to Amanda Flower’s visual imagery. There are a variety of characters in this series which I appreciate. The characters are well-developed and relatable. Jethro, the polka dotted pig, is a fun addition along with his owner, Juliet Brody (she is the quirky character in the story). I like the chemistry (and interactions) between Bailey and Aiden Brody. There is just the right touch of humor in the story. It is balanced with the seriousness of the murder and the intensity of the competition. The mystery is well crafted, and readers will be pondering the killer’s identity. There are some good clues to aid in identifying the evildoer. Bailey, though, needs to work on her questioning technique (shape her questions differently and be subtler). She is too blunt which is off-putting. It turns off people because they feel like they are being accused of wrong doing. There are tantalizing candy descriptions that will have you running out to purchase your favorite sweet treat (it had me craving my homemade peanut brittle). There was one scene that left me cringing. There was a cat in the candy kitchen at Swissmen Sweets. I hope the health inspector does not find out about it. It was interesting to discover how various candies are made without the aid of modern technology. Lethal Licorice is a feel-good cozy mystery. It was pleasurable to read and when I finished reading it, I had a smile on my face. Lethal Licorice is a cute and entertaining cozy mystery.
TarynLee 12 months ago
In this second book of the series Bailey is settling into the town of Harvest, Ohio and helping her grandmother run Swissmen Sweets. The annual Amish Confectionery Competition is coming up and Bailey has been allowed to compete in her grandfather's place. Things are looking good until Jethro, a pot-bellied pig goes missing and his owner asks Bailey for help in finding him. During the search for Jethro the body of a local Amish woman is found in the church organ, said woman didn't think that it was right that Bailey compete because she isn't Amish. Bailey must keep her head in the game, she really wants to make her grandmother proud but she also wants to make sure she doesn't become the lead suspect. Along the way she learns that she has cousins on her grandmothers side, it's not easy to find a pig, and that she might just have feelings for a certain deputy. This is truly a lovely series that gives you a true sense of the Amish way of life. The characters are easy to get to know and like which makes for a great read. I laughed, cried, and followed the clues to figure out whodunit. The recipes at the end were an added bonus, especially if you love chocolate!!!
ganderson523 12 months ago
Lethal Licorice is second in the Amish Candy Shop Mystery series and a great addition to the series. Bailey King left New York City where she worked as a chocolatier for a prestigious chocolate shop to help her grandmother run the family candy shop, Swissmen Sweets, after the death of her grandfather. This is where she learned how to make candy, especially chocolate, with her grandfather. There is a contest in Harvest, the Amish Confectionery Competition, to find out who makes the best candy and many different shop owners and workers are in town vying for the honor. Bailey is in the contest being assisted by Emily Esh from the pretzel shop next door. Things get complicated when Jethro, pot-bellied big, owned by friend, Juliet, disappears. About that time, the body of one of the candy shop owners in the ACC is discovered in the church organ. Sheriff Deputy Aiden is on the scene to investigate right away. He is the son of Juliet and there is a little attraction between Aiden and Bailey. Bailey can't help but do her own investigation especially when she becomes a suspect. There is a complicated plot to untangle with the tension between Englisch and Amish and even between the Amish members. Amanda Flower is one of my favorite authors. She always delivers a great read with her Amish suspense in a community of Amish and Englisch living together. Her characters are likable and real with an interesting background. There was a twist to the ending that I didn't see coming and revealed information on an old death in the community. Thanks to NetGalley and Kensington for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Ellen-oceanside 12 months ago
LETHAL LICORICE by Amanda Flower. Amish Candy Store Mystery 3 Having read the other two in this series, was looking forward to another, enjoyable read. Can one imagine a confectionery competition without using electricity. One woman was strongly against her, Bailey, not dressing like the Amish, and bringing in chocolate items into her grandfather, and now her store. Plus missing one pot bellied pig, when he does, he has found murder. Recipe of licorice was the cause, allergic reaction, and why in the church. Bailey has her work, along with the sheriff, to find out the why’s. Since her entry was licorice. Delighful, from beginning to end. Readers will enjoy this series, can be read separately. Given ARC by Net Galley for my volentary review and my honest opinion.
MaureenST 12 months ago
I enjoyed reading this second book set in Harvest Ohio, now you might want to pick up the first book, Assaulted Caramel, but the author brings you up to date. Our candy maker, a daughter of a man who left the Amish faith, came to visit her Grandparents, and ends up staying to help her Grandmother run their candy store. Now our Bailey does have a back ground as a head chocolatier in New York, so she is hoping to do well in annual Amish Confectionery Competition. This book ends up having a dead Amish woman, a missing pot belly pig, and finding new relatives. We keep on our toes and of course Bailey is again involved in finding another body. A page turner for sure, and I was surprised at the ending, I didn’t guess the outcome of this one! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Kensington, and was not required to give a positive review.
CozyMysteryLover1 12 months ago
Lethal Licorice is the second book in the Amish candy shop series. Author Amanda Flower describes the Amish way of life in such detail, I found myself transported to Harvest, Ohio as soon as I read the first paragraph. Bailey King is trying to balance her life, living in an Amish community while staying true to her English ways. After the devastating death of her grandfather, Bailey stays in Harvest, helping her grandmother in the family owned chocolate shop. Taking her grandfather's place in the ACC, Bailey is proud to be doing what she loves best, but a gruesome discovery puts her in the middle of another police investigation. There hasn't been a book by Amanda Flower that I haven't enjoyed. Her talent goes beyond words. She weaves together a brilliant story where the reader will feel like they are right there with everyone. I could smell her mouthwatering fudge and taste her grandfather's famous peanut butter chocolate fudge. Fans of this author will be thrilled with Lethal Licorice. I am looking forward to the next book. I voluntarily read an ARC of this book provided by the publisher and NetGalley.
Anonymous 12 months ago
The book was OK but won't buy it at all I will give 1 star Linda jean